Annie Oakley and The Lone Ranger never shot so well. Wilt Chamberlain’s dunk wasn’t as dead solid perfect. Tiger Woods had more flaws winning the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 strokes. The flights of the ball would have kept Eastern Airlines in business.
Translation: The Gatesville Hornets hit an incredible 14 three-point field goals in Llano, January 11, and jolted the Jackets 64-42. Yes, the other 22 points by the visitors were the difference in the outcome. In an arithmetic sort of way, I guess.
“They shot the heck out of the ball,” sighed Llano head coach Aidan Callahan. “Especially in the first half.”
Indeed: Six threes in the opening quarter, eight before a merciful intermission.
“Justin Massey is our leader on the floor,” said the Hornets’ Thomas Winkler. “He’s our main ball handler.” We bring in these seemingly innocuous quotes as a way of telling you Massey was not supposed to be the guy who scored 21 points on seven aerials from beyond the arc.
“I usually pass first,” acknowledged Massey, but, “I was feeling the touch tonight. After the first one, I kept shooting.”
“You assume people are not going to shoot like that,” coach Cal observed. “Some nights are like that; that’s the way it goes. I’m really not upset with the team.”
He had praise for Taylor Sorensen. “He did things we haven’t seen him do.” The Jackets hit a respectable four treys, themselves, but trailed 20-7 after a quarter and 34-15 at the half. Isaac Hutto, who did not hit one from beyond 19 feet, nine inches, won the old-fashioned scoring contest with 12 points on six twos.
“We’re hitting our stride right now,” noted Winkler. “Everyone is playing together.” The coach mentioned that the Hornets struggled against Taylor High’s zone, but he indicated, “Normally it is hard to zone shooters like us.”
“It’s who we are,” countered Callahan in reference to his defense.
The threes weren’t Llano’s only challenge. 6’1” Tobias Moore “is a matchup problem for anyone,” said Winkler. “He can play anywhere on the floor, and he’ll be successful.”
6’3” Danny Byrd was another thorn, who contributed 15 points.
Callahan was asked if the Jackets would stay discouraged long because of the setback, and he responded: “We’ll see.”